There’s been a lot of political buzz lately over early childhood education initiatives. But there’s very little controversy over whether early education is valuable, with nearly all debate centering simply on who should be writing the check (if such financial debates can be called simple). Why are these efforts so popular both among politicians — of all parties — and voters? The answer is fairly simple: The evidence has been mounting so conclusively over the past few years that it’s nearly impossible to argue that early childhood education doesn’t come with significant benefits. Here’s an overview.
- Benefits for Kids
Investing in children learning at this young age pays off all throughout their lives. Children who receive school educations prior to entering kindergarten go on to get higher degrees and earn more money later in life. That’s because young children’s brains are wired to soak up information rapidly, and they can take in a great deal of information around age 4.
- Benefits for Parents
One of the reasons so many people have campaigned for expansion of public preschool programs in recent years is that they allow parents — women, in particular — to focus on their careers while still knowing that their children are being well cared for and given every possible chance to succeed. With even just simple babysitting costs being as high as they are these days, high-quality early education programs are becoming more and more attractive to parents who either need or want to work.
- Benefits for Society
Many economists have argued that preschool is good for our society and economy as a whole, too. Having parents more fully participating in the economy gives it an immediate boost, and better education levels ensure that the United States will be able to compete with other nations in the future. Children who receive early education are even less likely to go on welfare or end up in prison, both of which are drains on our national economy.
What are some other benefits of pre kindergarten education? Share your thoughts in the comments.